Thursday, March 31, 2011

Holy Collaboration


"The Holy Hour is not a devotion;
it is a sharing
in the work of redemption...
He (Jesus) asked for an hour of reparation to
combat the hour of evil; an hour of victimal union
with the Cross to overcome the anti-love of sin." 

Archbishop Fulton Sheen

 The midpoint of this grace-filled Lenten season 
is the Thursday of the third week of Lent - TODAY!
Perhaps in the latter half of Lent each of your days
 could include a Holy Hour - 'sharing in the work of redemption'.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Abounding life of glory

"When the Blessed Sacrament is laid upon your tongue - that
moment and that act which the great angels of God look down upon
with such surpassing awe - the Blood of Jesus is throbbing there in
all its abounding life of glory. 
It sheathes in the sacramental mystery that exceeding radiance
which is lighting all heaven at that moment with a magnificence
of splendor which exceeds the glowing of a million suns.  You do
not feel the strong pulses of His immortal life.  If you did, you could
hardly live yourself.  Sacred terror would undo your life. 
But in that adorable Host is the whole of the Precious Blood, the Blood
of Gethsemane, Jerusalem, and Calvary, the Blood of the Passion,
of the Resurrection, and of the Ascension, the Blood shed and reassumed. 
As Mary bore that Precious Blood within herself of old, so do you bear it now.  ... We believe all; nay, we so believe it that we know it rather than
believe it; and yet our love is so faint and fitful.  Our very fires are
frost in comparison with such a faith as this."
Excerpt from The Precious Blood
Fr Frederick W Faber

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rightly ordered love

"Love for the Eucharist,
love for the cross,
love for souls
must be our ideal."
Bl. Pina Suriano

Monday, March 28, 2011

Growing in knowledge and love


"The will of God is fully revealed
in the person of Jesus.
A person who wishes to live according to God's will
must follow Jesus, listen to Him, welcome His words
and, with the help of the Holy Spirit,
absorb them more deeply.

The first invitation I wish to extend to you
is to grow in your knowledge of and love for Christ,
both as individuals and as a community;
to encounter Him through the Eucharist."

Pope Benedict XVI
March 20, 2011, Homily


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Living water

   Third Sunday of Lent

Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water
will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water
that I will give them will never be thirsty.
The water that I will give will become in them
a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."

The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water,
so that I may never be thirsty or have to
keep coming here to draw water." 


But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when the true worshipers will worship the Father
in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks
such as these to worship Him.  John 4:13-15,23

Invite someone to worship with you -
in spirit and in truth -  at holy Mass!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Worship's place

 "Worship... is not a part
of the Christian life:
it is the Christian life."

Gerald Vann, O.P.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Be it done" - that generous word!

March 25 

"The Virgin Mary utters that generous word, "be it done"
...Immediately the Heart of Jesus, ever to be adored,
has begun to pulsate with love, divine and human."

Pius XII, On Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 63

 The Annunciation, Adolphe-William Bouguereau (1888)

"The best model for our thanksgiving
[after Holy Communion]
is Mary receiving the Word in her womb. 
The most pleasing reception we can make Jesus
and the one best and most rich in graces for us
is to join with His Blessed Mother
in adoring Him present in our hearts."

St Peter Julian Eymard


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy

of the promises of Christ.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gathering the scattered

"God chose the sign of blood
because no other sign suggests
a person's total involvement so eloquently."

Pope Ven John Paul II

“Jesus Christ feeds us each day
with the teachings of the Gospel
and the sacraments of the Church.
His flesh and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar
is our daily food.
He gathered us in His arms,
spread out wide on the cross, as John says,
‘to gather together the children of God
who were scattered.’

St. Anthony of Padua

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Prayer of Offering for Lent

"The world is content with setting right
the surface of things;
the church aims at regenerating
the very depths of the heart."

Bl John Henry Newman
The Idea of a University (1852), p. 203


A Prayer of Offering for Lent

My God, I know well, you could have saved us at Your word,
without Yourself suffering; but You did choose to purchase us at the
price of Your Blood.  I look on You, the Victim lifted up on Calvary, and
I know that Your death was an expiation for the sins of the whole world. 
My Lord, I offer You myself in turn as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. 
You have died for me, and I in turn make myself over to You.  My wish
is to be separated from everything of this world; to cleanse myself
simply from sin.  Enable me to carry out what I profess.

A Newman Prayer Book
Editor VF Blehl, SJ (1990), p. 23

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Living Lent Eucharistically

Let us live Lent then, as a "Eucharistic" time
in which, welcoming the love of Jesus, we learn to
spread it around us with every word and deed. 

Contemplating "Him whom they have pierced" moves us in this way to
open our hearts to others, recognizing the wounds inflicted upon
the dignity of the human person; it moves us, in particular, to fight
every form of contempt for life and human exploitation and to alleviate
the tragedies of loneliness and abandonment of so many people.

May Lent be for every Christian a renewed experience of God's love
given to us in Christ, a love that each day we, in turn, must "regive"
to our neighbour, especially to the one who suffers most and is in
need. Only in this way will we be able to participate fully in the joy
of Easter. May Mary, Mother of Beautiful Love, guide us in this
Lenten journey, a journey of authentic conversion to the love of Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI's Message for Lent 2007

Monday, March 21, 2011

Imploring conversion

   Lord, I am not worthy to receive You,
but only say the word and I shall be healed.


“Lord, by the words of consecration the substance
of the bread and wine is converted into the
substance of Your Body and Blood. 
All powerful Lord, say over me the word
which will change me into You."

St Anthony Mary Claret

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Lord, it is good that we are here."

Second Sunday of Lent

Carl Bloch, Transfiguration

 Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here." ...
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow
over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said,

“This is my beloved Son, with whom
I am well pleased; listen to Him.”

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very
much afraid.  But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.  Matt 17: 4-8

"Lord, it is good that we are here..." Another ANNIVERSARY to celebrate!
Twelve years ago today I heartily reconciled with the Catholic Church and once again enabled to fully partake of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Charity and Unity. Let us join in the holy endeavor of praying and living lives that speak of the power and love of our Eucharistic Lord and draw many to the inexhaustible riches of His Sacred Heart. “I will not rest until I find the whole world devoted to the Blessed Sacrament!” Bl.Didacus Joseph of Cadiz.  Amen. -  Janette

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Go to Joseph!

March 19
“He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy
guardian and protector of His greatest treasures, namely,
His divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation
with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying:
Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.’”
St. Bernardine of Siena
Artist - Svitozar Nenyuk
“We all have in him [St. Joseph] as a model and a protector.  As adorers
of the Sacramental Jesus, we continue near the Blessed Sacrament
his service, his adoration and his love.  He will watch over us and
give us his spirit and virtues. Leading us to Jesus, he will say to Him: 
‘I cannot be on earth any longer to watch over You and serve You,
but bless these adorers who are replacing me; give them the graces
You gave me, so that their service may recall and replace mine.’
How happy St Joseph is to see us crowding about Jesus in
His Sacrament, feeble, abandoned, persecuted, more in need of
defenders and servants than in His Infancy.  St Joseph, be my protector,
my model, and my father in my service of Jesus Eucharistic.”
St. Peter Julian Eymard
"St Joseph, your life and office were of a priestly function and
are especially connected with the Blessed Sacrament.  To some
extent you were the means of bringing the Redeemer to us --
as it is the priest's function to bring Him to us in the Mass -- for you
reared Jesus, supported, nourished, protected and sheltered Him. 
You were prefigured by the patriarch Joseph, who kept supplies
of wheat for his people.  But how much greater than he were you! 
Joseph of old gave the Egyptians mere bread for their bodies. 
You nourished, and with the most tender care, preserved for the
Church Him who is the Bread of Heaven and who gives eternal life
in Holy Communion."  From Fifth Day of Novena to St Joseph 
"When Egypt was laid waste by the great famine, Pharaoh told his people,
Ite ad Joseph! - Go to Joseph! (Genesis 41:55)
So if we are in trouble, let us listen to the word of the Lord and take Pharaoh's advice; let us go to Joseph if we wish to be consoled.
St Alphonsus de Ligouri
Ste Joseph, ora pro nobis!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bring JOY to the face of your soul!

St. Cyril of Jerusalem was born just about the time the Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire (313 AD) and became bishop of the Holy City of David about 349 AD.  St. Cyril was banished from his Jerusalem See a total of three times for his bold proclamation of faith in Christ's full divinity during a time when many bishops and emperors favored various forms of the Arian heresy.  He is one of
the most important sources we have for how the church celebrated the liturgy and sacraments during the first few decades after the legalization of Christianity. 
In his famous 24 lectures commonly known as the  Jerusalem Catecheses, St Cyril instructs new Christians in the days immediately before and after their initiation into the life of the Church at the Easter Vigil.  In these catechetical instructions, which are the only documents that survive by St. Cyril, we find very strong insistence on the
value and efficacy of the sacrament of baptism as well as heavy emphasis on the real presence of Christ's body and blood in the sacrament of the Eucharist. 
An except from The Bread of Heaven and the Cup of Salvation,
St Cyril of Jerusalem, Early Church Father
"Do not, then, regard the Eucharistic elements as ordinary bread and wine:  they are in fact that Body and Blood of the Lord, as He Himself has declared.  Whatever your senses may tell you, be strong in faith.
You have been taught and you are firmly convinced that what looks and tastes like bread and wine is not bread and wine but the Body and Blood of Christ.  You know also how David referred to this long ago, when he sang: Bread gives strength to man's heart and makes his face shine with the oil of gladness.  Strengthen your heart, then, by receiving this bread as spiritual bread, and bring joy to the face of your soul.
May purity of conscience remove the veil from the face of your soul so that by contemplating the glory of the Lord, as in a mirror, you may transformed from glory to glory in Christ Jesus our Lord.  To Him be glory for ever and ever.  Amen."
St Cyril of Jerusalem
Bishop of Jerusalem
Doctor of the Church
FEAST DAY - March 18
 "Make your fold with the sheep;
flee from the wolves:
depart not from the Church,"
St Cyril admonished catechumens
surrounded by heresy.
Ste Cyril of Jerusalem, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I arise today...through Christ!


St. Patrick is said to have written this prayer to strengthen himself with God's protection as he prepared to confront and convert Loegaire, pagan high king of Ireland and his druid priests. Through the prayers and pleas of St Patrick, the power and might of God came upon this druid land and that day a broken king knelt before God.
This confrontation between Patrick's God and demonic forces marked the beginning of a thirty-year mission to Ireland. Danger and hardship remained Patrick's constant companions. Many sought his life. Twice he was imprisoned by his enemies--once for two full months. Intimidated? Not Patrick. "Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity," he wrote, "but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who rules everywhere."

St Patrick's Breastplate

I  arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I  arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the Judgment Day.

I  arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I  arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I  arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of demons,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I  arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.  AMEN.

St Patrick
Bishop, Patron of Ireland
FEAST DAY - March 17

Ste Patrick, ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Conversion is aim

At Prayer - Edwin Long
“Let us not merely admire
the Presence of Jesus
in the Blessed Sacrament,
let our lives be changed.”  

Fr Joseph Johnson
Rector, Cathedral of St Paul
St Paul, MN

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Like a river in a flood...

Photo credit:  Jack Gantzel
"The Eucharist is the food of the soul
that maintains, mends, increases,
and gladdens the life of grace in the soul,
because it gives to it the very Author of grace. 
The divine life can enter into us by other doors,
but it is by Holy Communion that it
inundates our souls like a river in a flood." 
Blessed Columba Marmion
"Open wide the doors to Christ!"
Pope Ven John Paul II

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blessed to be a blessing

We are therefore Christ's ambassadors,
as though Christ were making an appeal through us.
II Corinthians 5:20
"Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men
throughout the world, who live and die in poverty
and hunger.  Give them through our hands this day
their daily bread, and by our understanding love,
give peace and joy.  Amen."
Pope Paul VI

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Denying satan

First Sunday of Lent 

"During these forty days, much like the Israelites, we will journey through
the desert together and look forward to the Promised Land of Easter.
And like Christ, one should be encouraged to go into the desert alone,
a place set aside for personal prayer and silence.

Our Holy Father of happy memory, Pope John Paul II, defined
Lent as a time for "intense prayer" and for "serious discernment
about our lives" and our figurative desert is the place to do both.
In Matthew's version of the temptation in the desert, after Satan tempts
Jesus to turn a stone into bread, our Lord's response of, "One does not
live on bread alone" is continued with "but by every word that proceeds
from the Mouth of God" (Mt 4:4). On a translation note, in Luke's Gospel
the Latin Vulgate does include the words which translate as "but by every
word of God" even though it is absent from the liturgical text.

The bread that doesn't satisfy is the manna that was given to the Israelites
(cf. Ex 16). It's interesting, though, that in this exchange between our Savior
and the devil there are three words which are synonymous with Jesus.
He is the "Stone" which the builders rejected (cf. Ps [117] 118:22, Mt 21:42,
Mk 12:10, Lk 20:17, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:4; 2:7), He is the "Bread" of life (cf. Jn 6:35; 6:48),
and He is the "Word" of God (cf. Jn 1:1).
And this spiritual diet of Word and Bread are exactly what
we receive respectively at Mass from the Liturgy of the Word
and the Liturgy of the Eucharist."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

To persevere in virtue


"Make use of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament
as a means of persevering in the practice of virtue. 
Let us go to Him toward evening and tell Him
about our shortcomings, let us ask Him for help
and forgiveness.  Our Lord loves us, constantly,
and His glance follows us every moment of the day."

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val
Servant of God

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against
one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues
put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:13-14 


In this holy Lenten season, rich with graces, make frequent and good Confessions.  There are priests waiting for your visit.

Friday, March 11, 2011


And so we know and rely
on the love God has for us. ~ I Jn 4:16
Adoration Chapel - St Michael's Catholic Church- Stillwater, MN
"God wants us to begin here
in the knowledge of His love."
Julian of Norwich

Thursday, March 10, 2011

In accord with His generous intentions...

St Colman's Church, Cosham, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK

"The Eucharist has been given to us as a Bread of life, and it is of the nature of bread to be eaten often, just as it is of the nature of life to grow by slow degrees.  While Jesus, the Word Incarnate, can give us perfect holiness through a single Communion, He has no intention of working miracles in the order of grace, in opposition to the order established by Providence.

    Man spends many long years reaching his full physical stature.  The same is true of his spiritual stature.  To attain 'to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ' (Eph 4:13)  requires persistent effort, with the help of grace and the practice of an intense Eucharistic life. 

    Frequent and daily Communion for both adults and children is in accord with the generous intentions of our Lord's love and also with the wishes of the Church..."

Excerpt from In Him is Life - pg 112-113
Ernest Mura, F.S.V.  - Translated by Angeline Bouchard

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Even now, says the Lord, return to Me with your whole heart ...
 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly; gather the people.
Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged;
gather the children, even infants at the breast.
Joel 2:12+
 "See that you get ready for confession
and Holy Communion, so that you may be
resurrected in grace with Christ Jesus."
St Catherine of Siena 
Ash Wednesday, Julian Falat (1853-1929, Poland)
*Ash Wednesday is solemnly observed by the Church to mark the beginning of
the forty days of penance in the Lenten season. The faithful who attends the
Mass on this day will be marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes as a sign
of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality.

The marking of the forehead with a cross made of ashes reminds each
churchgoer that (1) God made the first human being by breathing life into dust,
and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes,
(2) the phrases often used when the ashes are administered remind Christians
of the doctrine of original sin and (3) the cross of ashes may symbolize the
way Christ's sacrifice on the cross as atonement for sin replaces the Old
Testament tradition of making burnt offerings to atone for sin. As the ashes
are being administered, the priest utters one of the following phrases:
"Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."
"Remember (O man) that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return."
"Repent, and hear the good news."

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him;
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ~Ecclesiastes 4:12
During Lent, we are called to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. They are the "three-fold cord" spoken of in Ecclesiastes 4:12. Satan will not prevail against us if we follow Christ's call to use this three-fold cord as a basis for our Christian walk.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Above all things


“Love our Lord Jesus Christ
in the Eucharist
above all things in the world.”

St. John of God
Portugal (1495-1550)
Religious, Founder of Hospitallers
Patron of Heart Patients
His motto: "Labor without stopping.
Do all the good works you can while you still have the time."
Feast Day  - March 8

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. ca.1617-1682
La caída de San Juan de Dios 1672-74
Oil on canvas
Hospital de la Caridad, Seville, Andalucia

St. John was a holy youth and spent the first part of his life as a shepherd.
As a young man he joined the military and veered from his faith, but later
converted and dedicated his life totally to God. He opened his own hospice and
called it House of God.  He understood that love has a healing and therapeutic value
for those who suffer, and this became his mission. St. John organized his followers
into the Order of Hospitallers, now better known as the Brothers Hospitallers
of St. John of God, who care for the sick in countries around the world. 
St John died at 55 years of age on March 8, 1550 of pneumonia,
after he had plunged into a river to save a young man from drowning.

Ste John of God, ora pro nobis!

Monday, March 7, 2011

What else could He do?

 My God, I forget all fear and all mistrust.
I melt away for joy and love,
whenever I lay my eyes on the Tabernacle
And, in my soul, repeat these words:

“That Host is my God, my Creator…
My Master…  My Bridegroom!
You see me… You think about me…
You love me…"

What else could He do? For God is love.
I may not be worthy of it, but He is love!

Bl Edouard Poppe
Excerpt from Spiritual Notebook
of Bl Edouard Poppe
July 17, 1917

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Amen - worth repeating!

St. Virgil Church, Morris Plains, New Jersey

"For you hear the words,
‘the Body of Christ’
and respond ‘Amen.’
Be then a member
of the Body of Christ
that your ‘Amen’ may be true."

Saint Augustine